Yes it’s true that Samoa is a hard working nation but the question is; are we hard working because we have to in order to survive or because it’s in our nature?
For Damian Peterson, 40, from the village of Faleasi’u, we have always been a hard working nation because we need to.
Running a road-side chicken and chips shack, Damian says that it’s his family’s way of making ends meet.
“The only thing about living in Samoa that I know for sure of is that we need to work for what we want and need,” he told the Village Voice.
“If you don’t work then you won’t be able to make any money to do things within the family and the many different obligations we have going on.
“The same goes for business people; if you don’t come and do a restaurant or anything then you won’t get anywhere.”
According to Damian, if you don’t sweat then you won’t get anywhere in life.
“The business I have is a chicken and chips shack,” he said.
“I sell chicken and chips or fish and chips. I understand that I have to work hard because if I don’t then my family will suffer. This is the life we Samoans face.
“I have only been doing this for three months. The main reason I started this business is because I needed to find a way to make money to take care of my family and children.
“I also needed money to take care of church commitments. It has always been like this for our people, if your head doesn’t sweat then you won’t get anywhere.”
With his chicken and chips shack being his family’s only source of income, Damian says that he is doing pretty well but he knows he can do a lot better.
“I make a little over $100 a day but I made more before,” he said.
“My shack was located in-land but I had to move here because the family who owned the land told me not to run my business there anymore.
“I would make $500 a day back in the old location. This is the only work I do.
“I would wake up early to go do my shopping before coming back to open up. I would work right throughout the day until it gets dark because I don’t have any lights in here.
“That’s how my life is right now. You won’t get anything if you don’t sweat.”
On the other hand, Damian sees the rising number of Chinese owned businesses as a problem for Samoa.
“For me, it seems like a lot of people are so happy with the presence of the Chinese,” he said.
“The businesses opened up by the Chinese gets a lot of support from our people. The shop just down the road just opened this month and people are going there a lot.
“People are no longer supporting the smaller village shops but instead, they want to go to the cheap Chinese shops. That’s how you know that the Chinese are very good at marketing.
“Our country is a poor one so we always go to what’s cheaper and affordable rather than support our own people.”